What a difference a fortnight makes in the EPL. Tottenham looked in great form a fortnight ago but against Newcastle, they were lucky to leave James’ Park with a 2-2 tie. Tiote, the Newcastle mid-field player, completely outplayed Tottenham’s Scott Parker in mid-field. Tiote is emerging as one of the top mid-fielders in the League. Without any great expenditure of funds, New Castle is a well-coached team, effectively organized and a team that plays attractive attacking football.
Tottenham had difficulty putting passes together. Bale and Modric had off-days. Defoe came in as a substitute and scored a glorious goal. But Newcastle substitute, Amoeba, also beat Friedel with an exquisitely placed shot. No question, Newcastle will be a force to contend with in the 2011-12 season.Liverpool vs. Manchester United
Sir Alex Ferguson blundered with starting a team against Liverpool with Nani, Rooney and Anderson perched on the bench. Ryan Giggs has had a great career at Manchester United but one wonders if he and the team would not have been better off if he had bowed out with his side-kick Paul Scholes.
That clever aggregation of Rooney, Welbeck, Young, Andersen, Nani and Cleverly has been dismembered by injury and by Ferguson’s inastuteness. Manchester managed a 1-1 draw but deserved to lose to Liverpool. Gerard got a gift from Giggs as the latter created a gaping hole in the wall as Gerard’s free kick gave Liverpool the lead. Liverpool played purposeful ball with Downing, Suarez, Gerard, Adams and Kuyt placed Manchester on the back foot.
Ferguson is quite adept at rotating his players and that is good management in a long season but he needs to know who are the big players that make a difference in this Manchester United Team. The team Sir Alex started against Liverpool was not that team.
One unsavory outcome of the hard-fought contest is Evra’s accusation of Suarez, the Uruguayan, making repeated racist remarks. Suarez is a feisty character and has denied the charges, although his denial does not come across as credible as the remarks according to Evra was repeated at least ten times.